(Looking Back in Time - This page written in
perspective on the shape of all possible universes
The world's leading
astro-physicists continue to discover evidence that the universe is now
expanding at an accelerating rate. Only a short time ago scientists believed the
rate of expansion would forever be slowing down, or else gravity would reverse
the entire process of expansion and cause the universe to collapse inward. One
of the greater efforts in astro-physics over the past ten years has been toward
determining which of these two futures will occur.
When the data came in we realized neither
of the existing models were correct. Although the expansion of the entire
cosmos has slowed since the Big Bang, the rate of cosmological expansion
is presently on the increase. The first data came in 1998, and was later
verified by NASA's use of the Hubble Space Telescope and several ground
based telescopes. Even recently, new improved studies continue to provide
This unexpected data, in the way that it provides
highly elementary information about the universe, is not unlike when Hubble
initially discovered the red-shifted light of galaxies. It also carries
with it unexpected implications. Hubble's discovery revealed the expansion
of the universe, which led to the big bang theory. We eventually learned
a great deal about the beginning of time. How much more are we about to
learn as the implications of accelerating expansion are explored?
If the universe expands increasingly faster,
what is the result? What happens to matter and energy? Will local expansion
reach the speed of light? Will time continue forever or will the universe
end in the future? The end of time is a new idea that scientists must now
consider. Of course such an idea seems unsettling at first, but for those
who study the universe more deeply it is supreme knowledge, even a chance,
as Einstein put it, to know the mind of God. We may begin to understand
the entire universe as a single dynamic system, the big picture, which
may explain why there is a universe at all.
For myself, what all this excitement means,
is a bit different. Over the past nine years I have written three books
and created my website, in hopes of explaining models and predictions to
the scientific community that describe the end of time. Until recently
I wasn't taken seriously, since I opposed both the popular Big Crunch theory
and the Heat Death model, with a third possibility. In my theory of the
future, the universe stretches itself absolutely flat. Based upon a model
of all possible states, I argue that the universe evolves to reach the
extreme physical state of flat space, a point in time which I argue is
the ultimate end result of expansion. In my theory, originally presented
in my first book in 1994, expansion stretches matter flat and cools the
universe to absolute zero, and this causes time as we know it to end.
Before concluding too much about what this
means, let me say that although I did develop a theory that time ends,
a theory that is now correlating with a major scientific discovery, my
original goal was to understand the universe if it is infinite, timeless,
and eternal. In trying to better comprehend the idea of infinity or all
possible universes that can exist, I focused on all possible three dimensional
universes, what are in real terms simply patterns. In scientific terms,
such a model, with its focus on large-scale static possibilities, would
be called an aggregate state space model.
Surprisingly I did make progress, expanding
upon how Ludwig Boltzmann, the author of the second law of thermodynamics, conceptualized
ordered and disordered states with what has been referred to as the wedge
model. I extended that model mainly by identifying other extremes of possibility
besides the most highly ordered state, and by identifying what modern scientists
in chaos theory call the great attractor. What I now refer to as the Possible
Realm, or SOAPS (the set of all possible states) is not nearly as incomprehensible
or complex as most have expected. I now understand why time has a direction
and even its cause.
I should note about my approach, that I am
not alone in this kind of endeavor, as there are a growing number of scientists
venturing where no one has gone before. There is the theoretical biologist
Kauffman , as well as others of the Santa Fe Institute, working in
fields related to complexity theory, who are becoming increasingly skilled
at modeling specific contours within the possible realm. The mathematician
Ralph Abraham working on chaos theory focuses on attractors in state space.
And there are many others. The aim is toward defining the landscape hidden
underneath the physics we observe, to recognize from that landscape why
and 'how much' the possible realm influences actual events. If we can describe
what is possible as a model or schemata we can then see how the invisible
landscape of SOAPS (the set of all possible states) shapes the actual.
Boltzmann was the first to develop a scientific
model of the possible realm when he developed the second law of thermodynamics.
He theorized that there are fewer states of order than states of disorder,
and this led others to surmise that there is a single state of highest
order. Fewer ordered states toward an absolute of order would explain why
we observe the universe evolving from order to disorder, since if there
are more possibilities of disorder, the chance for disorder to increase
is therefore greater than the chance for order to increase. Having begun
in a state of high order, the universe is mainly thought to be expressing
itself in a winding down process.
Of course the assumption here is that nature,
as the universe unfolds, responds or adheres to what is most probable.
This can hardly be an unexpected hypothesis, since we see it evident each
time we roll dice or shuffle a deck of cards. Awareness of future probabilities
is a common exercise in our lives. In science, the study of probabilities
is the essence of quantum mechanics. Yet our present understanding of what
is generally probable for the universe (the second law) cannot solve the
puzzle of why the universe began in a state of high order, and fails to
explain clearly why order is maintained, or why ordered systems emerge.
If time innately moves toward what is most probable, we must ask why a
universe ever found itself to exist in such an improbable state, near or
in the highest state of order.
What began my own adventure into the possible
realm was a belief that the universe out there is infinitely great, a belief
similar to the Many Worlds theory. But also, although I do firmly believe
that time has a beginning (and an end), I have long been convinced that
our true existence is timeless. The changing world that we experience is
much like a story written in a book, a book that includes many stories.
Time is real. I do not argue that time is an illusion, but I do explain
that space-time is a secondary reality, born and created from the greater
reality of a timelessness.
It has been about ten years since Stephen
Hawking and Jim Hartle of the University of California, published their
theory that time has no boundary. If time has no boundary it has no beginning.
Hawking himself has become ever more adamant about the idea that the universe
exists permanently in what is called imaginary time, named so even
though imaginary time may be more elementary than ordinary clock
Notably, Albert Einstein held somewhat similar
beliefs of time. In reference to Minkowski's "Space World" Einstein described
our space-time as a four dimensional existence, rather than a three dimensional
world that evolves. Until he died in April of 1955, Einstein wrote privately
of his belief that both past and future exist simultaneously. It was not
much later that the physicist Richard Feynman developed his Sum Over
Histories interpretation of quantum mechanics in which Feynman himself
described time as a direction in space.
Still more recently, there is exciting developments.
The English physicist Julian Barbour
has written a book about timelessness entitled; The End of Time.
Highly related to my own work, in his book Barbour considers ways of understanding
aggregate state space, naming the possible realm Platonia. Barbour
foresees that the future of physics lies in the study of the universe as
it exists timelessly.
Also, physicist and computer guru David
Deutsch is well known for his book The Fabric of Reality, in
which he proposes the concept of a multiverse, the assembly of many worlds.
As I proposed in my book in 1994, Deutsch also argues the necessity of
what he calls snapshots of time, or block universes, and conclusively states
that, "Our consciousness exists at all our (waking) moments."
From Einstein to present day, the common direction
and evolution of thought seems evident here, if somewhat profound. We sense
existence evolving, and we think we are only here, yet it may be that the
past and future exist as real as each single moment we experience, and
thus we are simultaneously in our past and in our future, experiencing
each individual moment as if each is the only one, even though all exist.
One might be led to wonder about the landscape
of this timeless universe, and this question is in fact what led me to
a study of the infinite and allowed me to develop the theories presented
here. Actually, for myself, it is not merely a study of possibilities,
but rather, a study of actualities, and I work to understand why certain
places in a forever existence are distinct and yet unified to construct what we call time.
First I will present ultimate boundaries that
exist and shape the aggregate possible realm and in so doing forge a theory
to explain why time has a direction and why the universe expands.
I propose that absolute flat space is the ultimate balance point, making
it an ultimate attractor within state space. In science, there is a known
but not fully understood point of absolute zero that is common to all physical
properties. This ultimate point in nature is a zero mass, zero temperature,
zero curvature (flat space), and a zero time. As I shall explain, this
zero is the great attractor that begins and ends time.
This website has been written for the average
reader and a scientific background is helpful, but not mandatory. My ability
to explain my theories has greatly improved over the years. I was happy
to find that Scientific American had placed a link to my site in their
April online issue. In addition to hundreds of non-scientists, I have had
several scientists around the world contact me and voice their approval
of my work, though generally the theory has not yet been recognized or
published by any scientific media.
In explaining ideas, I am fortunate that my
work can sometimes be related to similar directions of thought of Stephen
Hawking and some of the terminology was adopted from Stuart Kauffman's
exciting work. Clearly what I propose has some relationship to the well
known theories of the late Richard Feynman. Much of what follows I believe
contributes to the pool of ideas brought about by the No Boundary Proposal,
and Feynman's Sum Over Histories Theory.
One part of my theory, undoubtedly my most important
theory or proposal, is the recognition that rather than ordered and disordered states,
there are two opposite directions of increasing order in nature. This theory
clearly relates to the concept of Implicate Order proposed by David
Bohm to explain the nature of quantum mechanics. Essentially I explain
distinctions between what I call Grouping Order and Symmetry
Order. The surprising recognition is that the order of each increases
in opposite directions, and thus the order of one is the disorder of the
other. Consequently it becomes necessary to divide what we ordinarily consider
to be simply order into two distinct contrasting types or directions. This
I insist is a good hard scientific law which has a great impact on our
present comprehension of nature.
I hope you enjoy the tour. I know it may seem
to a few that we are not ready to look outward beyond known physical laws
and visible galaxies into worlds we can only imagine. But having been there
I know the truth is that our apprehension of the infinite is why we have
not yet made sense of the big picture. Our tendency to leave the greater
world unexplored, is the reason we have yet to understand why there
are stars and galaxies, or why all of space is expanding, or why
the universe is so highly ordered and systematic. It can be discovered
that the infinite universe has a shape, a shape that relates intimately
to ourselves, and to the elementary physics of our spacetime universe.
Sincerely, Gevin Giorbran
Last updated Aug. 2001